Thursday 19 July 2012

Stuttgart TV Tower Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 7.8 km (4.8 miles), terrain is hilly

Stuttgart Routes List:
Best Stuttgart Running Routes: Overview
Schlossgarten Park  
Rosenstein Park  

TV Tower hills  
Bärensee lakes  

Stuttgart Airport woods
For more running routes, see the Route List

I'm back in Stuttgart this week, and I finally got a chance to try out some of the trails in the wooded hills surrounding the city. Stuttgart is bordered by hills on three sides. This route heads to the hills on the south side. They are the closest to the town center, and easy to get to.

The hills stretch diagonally, from northeast to southwest, with a few busy roads crossing them. This route isn't as quiet as most forest runs, but most of the time it is quiet enough to feel away from all the big-city traffic.
TV Tower on the horizon, seen from Stuttgart Schlossgarten
There are two main hills on the south side: Bopser (to the west, with the TV Tower) and Frauenkopf (to the east, with the radio tower crowning its peak). It's easy to mix up the two towers if you don't pay attention. The TV Tower (Fernsehturm) is very tall and has a glass observation deck up near the top. The radio tower (Fernmeldeturm, further to the northeast) is much shorter and has a large UFO-like platform down near its base.

This route will cover both hills. To get there, you can take one of several trams (Stadtbahn, they run as subways downtown). You can use lines 7, 8 or 15, and get out at the Ruhbank (Fernsehturm) station. After getting out of the tram, you'll see the tower to the north. Just take one of the paths leading there from the station.

NOTE: Of course, you could run up the hill from the center, if you want the extra hill-climb. There are a maze of trails leading up from town. For example, from Hohenheimer Straße, you can take the Am Bopserweg trail straight up. But I tried to save you the long up and down slug here. There is a total rise of about 100 meters in the rest of the route, anyway, so you won't be without some good hill work.

We'll start the run by looping through the Waldau neighborhood. This few blocks around the TV Tower is a sportsman's paradise. There is a little stadium (Gazi Stadion, home of the Stuttgart Kickers), practice fields, clubhouses, climbing walls, volleyball, tennis, an ice-skating hall, you name it. It will make you proud to be an athlete just running by all the other sportspeople out doing their thing.

The Stuttgart TV Tower Route
Start at the TV Tower base. There is a beer garden here, and people can ride the elevators to the top for a great view.
TV Tower starting place
Turn towards the southwest and run through the little parking lot to the first cross-street, Guts-Muths-Weg. You'll see Gazi stadium across the street on the left.

Turn left on Guts-Muths and run south, past the "Luftbad" a quiet area for tai chi etc. At the first real street to the right, Georgiiweg, turn right and run past the Waldau U-Bahn station.
Waldau practice soccer field
On the left, there is a climbing center and soccer fields. Just watching all these dedicated sportspeople made me glad to be out and about in Waldau.

After you cross Königsstraße, Georgiiweg is called Löwenstraße, and there will be woods on your left, and villas on the right.
Waldau freeclimbers
When you come to the white church, turn left and run onto the trail going into the woods to the south. You will pass some more athletic fields on the left, and then come to the Haus des Waldes, a kind of clubhouse for friends of nature.

Right at the Haus des Waldes, turn left and run eastwards along Möricke Weg. You'll cross Königsstraße again and run into more woods.
Turn left here at Haus des Waldes
When the trail splits by running into another trail, turn left and run to the next cross-trail. Here, you turn right and continue eastwards. The trail runs towards a busy road, Mittlere Filderstraße. But before the trail gets there, zigzag to the left, then right to get onto the pedestrian bridge that crosses to the other side. Crossing at street level is no fun.
Heading over the pedestrian bridge
Now you run straight, heading northeast, and you'll cross another road, Kirchheimer Straße, with the tram line next to it. Cross them and then take the turn to the left. Follow the trail with the markings of a red cross on the white background as it curves downhill towards the left, after crossing another trail. But just keep running straight ahead, where it starts going lightly downhill. A steep valley goes off to the right.

Now just stay on this trail as it curves around the side valley. A few trails will come up from the valley on the right side, but don't turn onto any of them. This is the nicest part of the run, I think: no street noise and very natural.
Heading towards the Frauenkopf
When the trail runs into a paved road, keep left and continue running on the paved trail. It will go around the head of the side-valley and turn north.

A kilometer after Kirchheimer Straße, the trail will end at Jahnstraße, at the tram station called Stelle.

This is where we take a trail uphill to the Fernmeldeturm at the top of Frauenkopf. Just follow the little paved trail going uphill next to the trail map sign.
Take that paved trail as it curves upwards to the right
In about 350 meters, going up about 40 meters, you'll come to the radio tower, where you turn around and run back to Stelle.

The Fernmeldeturm radio tower
We are now on the return trip. At the Stelle tram station, cross Jahnstraße, and take the path angling off to the left into the woods, heading due west.

Follow that little trail to the Bopser, running back to the TV Tower
Just stay on this trail for less than a kilometer. You will come across a few trails coming up from the city to the right side, but ignore them.

When you get to a place where several trails cross and there are a couple of picnic shelters, turn left and run up the little path to the left of the grill-fireplace.
Head up that small path to the left of the grill
This path rises about 50 meters, heading straight back to the TV Tower. You'll cross Jahnstraße again, and then you'll find yourself back at the parking lot at Gazi stadium.

Just turn left and you're back at the TV Tower.

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